Welcome to the second blog for 07-BR-1. We have made the half way mark!!!!! I can’t believe it has been 12 weeks. We have really come so far, and things are moving fast now.
The past two weeks have definitely been the hardest for me. We have had a really intense schedule, and I had E.V.O.C. on top of that. Two of our work days were 17 hour days. My son has been sick, and of course, he passed it on to me. I had to miss a day of instruction which can be stressful.
I think the most impressionable moment this week was when we started using our handguns during our ACB training. I felt very uncomfortable when the handgun was pointing right at me. It doesn’t make a difference that it is one of my classmates, and I know it is unloaded. It is a very strange feeling.
We also started training at the range. I was terrified of using the shotgun, but it isn’t as bad as I thought. I have a hard time holding all that weight up for a length of time, so I need to work on my strength and proper technique. We shot our handguns with our dominant and off hands. I was amazed at how accurate I was with both of them. It really is a lot of fun to train at the range. Never mind the intense heat, especially with all the gear we are wearing. I can’t even imagine what it will be like in July when it is 100 degrees outside.
We also had our first tested scenario. It is really hard to remember all the proper tactics of responding to a call. There is officer safety, victim safety, medical needs, information gathering, report writing, and using proper ACB techniques. We also have to remember to ask all the right questions, so we can prove what crime was committed. When you are caught up in the moment it is so easy to forget the simplest aspects of responding to a call. I am confident that those things will come naturally as we get more training with scenarios.
For the most part I feel like the last two weeks went really well. I feel like the training is really stepping up, and at this pace we will be ready for the real thing in 12 more weeks. Great Job 07-BR-1!!!!!
Recruit Littles here, and another two weeks have been
completed here at the academy and although the most
recruits feel they have finally become acclimated to
the academy lifestyle we have not seen the last of
what the academy has to offer. In the past two weeks
the academy class has been introduced to the world of
firearms. Some recruits fortunately have had previous
firearm experience through organizations such as the
military, however for some this is a completely new
experience. I joined the academy with little to basically no firearm experience, so for me this has been exciting as well as interesting. I think most
people have seen a good action movie or two but the reality is, is that running, jumping, and doing back-flips while shooting a gun is not the reality of the firearm training. As a matter of fact firearm training has been more exciting than I expected. The academy class has started with the basics of firearms and by learning the foundation these past two weeks a lot of the recruits already seemed pleased with their improvement. I have already seen myself improve
significantly and I hope it only continues through the rest of the academy. For now I hope I, along with the rest of the recruits, continue to improve in all of the
other challenges that face us. For now keep praying for us and stay tuned.
Recruit Delos Santos
For the last several weeks, I have been prepared to use my gun. I’ve taken notes during several lectures on firearm safety, nomenclature, and ballistics. I’ve drawn my gun numerous times during scenarios and exercises. I’ve even worn my gun on my hip for the last two weeks. Yet, my first day on the range, I find myself thinking, what the heck am I doing?
First, five minutes at the range, I get schooled by the Corporals. I don’t properly sound off after being given a command. I’m pointing my gun in all the worst directions because I can’t figure out how to take apart my gun while standing. When I attempt to reassemble my gun, I forget to flip a lever, so my slide flies three feet ahead of me on the ground. I feel incompetent. I’m ready for someone to tell me to pack my bags and leave.
At the firing line, I have the best kind of pressure standing behind me. An ex- S.W.A.T. Officer, also known as the Commander of the Academy, gets to watch me shoot a gun for the first time. I hear the command, “FIRE!” and I forget about all the little points we were taught to do: slowly squeeze the trigger, seer reset, tight grip, don’t flinch, aim. I’m listening to sighs of the Commander and a repeat of the instructions that I already should know, but I have difficulty applying them to my gun.
I look at my target, and the targets around me. The targets are only three yards ahead. Everyone else’s targets have bullet holes in tight clusters around the black dot on their targets. In my target, my spread is everywhere; I didn’t even make any holes in the circle around the black dot. What went wrong? How am I this bad?
I have a mini-flashback on my experience with guns. My twin sister has always beat me at every game involving a gun – Area 54, House of the Dead, Time Cop, even that game where you have to shoot the water gun at the target to blow up the balloon. I even have a first-person shooter game on my PS2 and I couldn’t make it past Level 3. Why hadn’t I taken those times seriously? It never occurred to me that my failure to develop accuracy could be a serious weakness in my future. How well I train in firearms, my speed, my accuracy, may actually determine life or death. My weakness turned from my twin sister beating me at another arcade game, to me jeopardizing the lives of those around me.
Even though my first day at the range was a serious wake up call, it was also another day when someone at the academy turned my whole day around with several kind words. Recruit Cox came up to me and said, “Delos Santos, you looked like Ripley from Aliens behind that shotgun!” I don’t know if his compliment had anything to do with my shooting, or because my arms looked beefy holding a shotgun, but it was the best thing someone could have told me that day!
Colette Delos Santos
My father was a peace officer.
He is also a storyteller. Like fables, most of the stories came around to some kind of point or lesson. I think he always knew I would eventually become a cop so many of his stories, I now understand, were designed to teach me some of the basic things he knew I would need to know.
“Law enforcement is not a career path, it’s a lifestyle choice,” I remember him telling me. “You don’t just get to be a cop when you are working. Everyone knows what you do and they expect you to act a certain way. Everyday you have to be able to look in that mirror when you put on your badge and know you are living up to your responsibilities.”
As I write it now, his speech sounds like something that should come from the mouth of the class speaker at an academy graduation but I got to hear it riding around in the front seat of one of his 1970-something Chevy pick-ups.
At 10 years old, I am not sure I understood the meaning of words like integrity and commitment, but I understood these things must be important if I wanted to be a cop.
“People will always look at you different,” he said. “They will hold you to a higher standard.”
This weekend, my neighborhood had its annual Memorial Day block party. Neighbors and friends get together and barbecue and socialize. There were games for the kids, a jumpy house, and even a dessert bake off.
A lot of the people there knew that I am training to be a police officer.
“You probably know my buddy then,” one guy told me. “He’s been a cop for like 20 years.”
“I haven’t really started yet,” I told him. “I don’t really know too many people.”
“Well, just remember me if you see me speeding around town, huh?” he said.
Another woman cornered me and told me about the speeding ticket she had recently gotten.
“Were you speeding?” I asked her.
“Oh, you’re not going to be that kind of cop are you?” she asked.
I snuck off to the dessert table without answering.
Another guy cornered me there. He said we had a mutual friend and he heard I was going to be a police officer.
“Here we go again,” I thought.
He stuck out his hand. I shook it.
“Good,” he said. “We need as many of you guys as we can get. Thank you.”
My father was at the block party too. Retired, I doubt he had too many of those conversations that night.
I’m not even an officer yet and people’s perspective of me has already started to change.
I guess I’d better get used to it. At least someone thanked me, even if I do end up “that kind of cop.”